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Sunday, September 13, 2009

New IRS Retirement Security for American Families


New IRS Retirement Security for American Families

Alabama@Work

By Tommy Eden
On September 5 the IRS issued sweeping guidance for Employers and Employees on “Helping Americans Save for the Future” It is well worth the time of all Alabama Employers and Employees to review the new savings options which include:
Guidance to make saving and choosing a retirement plan easier by:
ü expanding opportunities for automatic enrollment in retirement plans,
ü making it easier to save tax refunds,
ü showing how employees can save payments they would receive for unused vacation or other similar leave in their retirement plan, and
ü helping employees and employers understand their -
ü tax-favored rollover and other savings options, and
ü retirement plan design options. Detailed information with web links at:http://www.irs.gov/retirement/article/0,,id=212061,00.html
Automatic Enrollment
boosting participation in 401(k) and SIMPLE IRA plans. The Treasury and IRS have issued the following guidance on automatic enrollment as part of the retirement and savings initiatives:
ü Revenue Ruling 2009-30 demonstrates ways a 401(k) plan sponsor can include automatic contribution increases in its plan.
ü Notice 2009-65 provides sample automatic enrollment plan language that a 401(k) plan sponsor can adopt with automatic IRS approval.
ü Notice 2009-66 includes guidance to help small employers add automatic enrollment to their SIMPLE IRA plans.
ü Notice 2009-67 provides sample automatic contribution language that a SIMPLE IRA plan sponsor can adopt with automatic IRS approval.
Receive Your Tax Refund as U.S. Savings Bonds
For the upcoming 2010 filing season, with a simple check of a box, taxpayers will be able to convert their income tax refunds into I Savings Bonds - even without a bank account or an existing account with Treasury. In future years, taxpayers will be able to purchase I Bonds for their children or grandchildren just as easily. Learn more with these Questions & Answers.
Save Payments You Would Receive for Unused Vacation or Other Similar Leave
through contributions to retirement plans. Many employees receive substantial cash payments for unused vacation or other similar leave at termination of employment or even annually during employment. The Treasury and IRS have issued the following guidance on contributions in lieu of leave:
ü Revenue Ruling 2009-31 addresses annual contributions of payments employees would receive for unused vacation or other similar leave to an ongoing defined contribution plan, whether as employer contributions or elective 401(k) contributions.
ü Revenue Ruling 2009-32 addresses similar contributions at termination of employment.
Roll Over Retirement Distributions into IRAs or Other Plans
A key risk to lifetime savings is when an employee spends his or her lump sum payment, instead of electing to roll over the payment to an IRA or other retirement plan (rollover chart).
Notice 2009-68 simplifies the presentation of an employee’s options when receiving an eligible rollover distribution. It provides a rollover roadmap that satisfies the required notice that must be provided to employees taking their retirement assets. The notice also reflects law changes (such as information on a distribution from a designated Roth account under an employer plan) and explains rules that apply in special situations (such as when a distribution is made to a surviving spouse or other beneficiary).
Understanding Retirement Plan Options
IRS.gov has made it even easier for employers to understand their tax-favored retirement plan options and to choose the right plan for their employees as well as their business.
Life Events that Can Affect Retirement Savings provides more information on major life events that can affect your retirement planning like starting a job, terminating employment and catching-up on contributions for missed years of opportunity.
Tommy Eden is a Lee County native, an attorney with the local office of Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP and a member of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law and serves on the Board of Directors for the East Alabama SHRM Chapter. He can be contacted at teden@constangy.com or 334-246-2901. Blog at www.alabamaatwork.com